The Week in Review

Quite a week in the food world! Eleanor and Max have been valiant, and have these weekend reminders, with comments from me [in brackets]:

We ate well this week. Starting with fresh turkey eggs and the rich cardoons of Andalusia, we got the stories behind, and recipes for, Greek bitter herbs. Ari Weinzweig told us about Spain's [yet more addictive] answer to bruschetta, and Jarrett Wrisley went far afield to find the chemistry of a great sandwich. We welcomed spring with fresh ramps [an acquired taste! and one I'll never acquire, though no one could tempt me more than Sally] .

We drank as well, in celebration of the birthday of the cocktail. Clay Risen brought us the best-kept secret in domestic whiskey, finally available in the U.S. after way too long. Heather Sperling filed a report from London on gin you inhale--though it requires some odd clothing. We explored the rich history of wine, learning a bit of Egyptian hieroglyphics in the process.

Jerry Baldwin taught us how to get the most out of coffee with proper storage. We discovered the strange, and strangely frequent, intersection between ice cream scoopers and punk rock stars. We explored the troubled relationship between vegans and vegetarians and the difference between good food and trendy food.

And, of course, we celebrated the James Beard Awards. Corby reported from the scene on his grateful surprise at winning, the cured meats that were the star of a spontaneous afterparty [people did stay up all night--this was at lunch the next day], and the touching and stirring speech by official Best Chef Dan Barber.

We also expanded our recipe library with six new additions: pasta with ramps; lentil soup with hyacinth bulbs, garlic, and mint; cardoons with almond sauce; and the latest in our growing list of vegetarian options, carrot-thyme coleslaw, BBQ tempeh sandwich, and little potato and sweet potato pancakes.

And this from Marion Nestle's post this morning on food miles especially struck me, because it so succinctly summarize where I always end up when thinking about the carbon footprint, imported and seasonal foods, and what I should let myself buy and eat:

I've always thought that the real benefits of local food production were in building and preserving communities. I like having farms within easy access of where I live and I like knowing the people who produce my food. If local food doesn't make climate change worse and maybe even helps a bit, that's just icing on the cake.
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Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." More

Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." Julia Child once said, "I think he's a very good food writer. He really does his homework. As a reporter and a writer he takes his work very seriously." Kummer's 1990 Atlantic series about coffee was heralded by foodies and the general public alike. The response to his recommendations about coffees and coffee-makers was typical--suppliers scrambled to meet the demand. As Giorgio Deluca, co-founder of New York's epicurean grocery Dean & Deluca, says: "I can tell when Corby's pieces hit; the phone doesn't stop ringing." His book, The Joy of Coffee, based on his Atlantic series, was heralded by The New York Times as "the most definitive and engagingly written book on the subject to date." In nominating his work for a National Magazine Award (for which he became a finalist), the editors wrote: "Kummer treats food as if its preparation were something of a life sport: an activity to be pursued regularly and healthfully by knowledgeable people who demand quality." Kummer's book The Pleasures of Slow Food celebrates local artisans who raise and prepare the foods of their regions with the love and expertise that come only with generations of practice. Kummer was restaurant critic of New York Magazine in 1995 and 1996 and since 1997 has served as restaurant critic for Boston Magazine. He is also a frequent food commentator on television and radio. He was educated at Yale, immediately after which he came to The Atlantic. He is the recipient of five James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.

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